Clinical Neuroscience

[Occlusive hydrocephalus caused by a fourth ventricle arachnoid cyst (in English language)]

SZŰCS Anna, VÁRADY Péter, PESTALITY Péter, FABÓ Dániel, LALIT Narula, KENÉZ József

JANUARY 22, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(01-02)

[The case history of a woman with occlusive hydrocephalus caused by a fourth ventricle cyst is presented. She had slowly progressive complaints and symptoms - concentration and memory disturbances, low-tempered mood, then slight dizziness, loss of appetite and progressive headache - transitorily misinterpreted for signs of depression. She had been treated by psychotherapy and antidepressants for months. Since she did not improve she was referred to a psychiatric hospital. The rapidly progressing neurological syndrome with worsening headache, gait disturbance and vomiting was finally identified and it turned out to be caused by a fourth ventricle CSF blockage of unknown aetiology. An acute neurosurgical intervention was indicated. It revealed a huge fourth ventricle cyst, undetectable on MRI, occupying the whole ventricle. The resection of its walls resulted in complete recovery. We conclude that since unspecific mental complaints and symptoms suggesting depression may be misleading, their organic origin has to be excluded.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Functional magnetic resonance imaging in neurology (in English language)]


[The present contribution discusses the clinical use of functional MRI (fMRI) and its role in the most common neurological diseases. FMRI was found a reliable and reproducible examination tool resulting in a wide distribution of fMRI methods in presurgical evaluation of epilepsy in determining the relationship of eloquent areas and the epileptic focus. Preliminary data suggest that fMRI using memory paradigms can predict the postoperative memory decline in epilepsy surgery by determining whether a reorganization of memory functions took place. Speech-activated fMRI became the most used tool in determining hemispheric dominance. Visual and senso-motor cortex can also be routinely investigated by fMRI which helps in decision on epilepsy surgery. FMRI combined with EEG is a new diagnostic tool in epilepsy and sleep disorders. FMRI can identify the penumbra after stroke and can provide an additional information on metabolic state of the threatened brain tissue. FMRI has a predictive role in poststroke recovery. In relapsing-remitting MS an adaptive reorganization can be demonstrated by fMRI affecting the visual, motor, and memory systems, despite preserved functional performance. Much more extensive reorganization can be demonstrated in secondary progressive MS. These findings suggest that the different stages of MS are related to different stages of the reorganization and MS becomes progressive when there is no more reserve capacity in the brain for reorganization. FMRI offers the capability of detecting early functional hemodynamic alterations in Alzheimer’s disease before morphological changes. FMRI can be a valuable tool to test and monitor treatment efficacy in AD. FMRI can also provide information about the mechanisms of different therapeutic approaches in Parkinson disorder including drug treatment and deep brain stimulation.]

Clinical Neuroscience


BENEDEK Krisztina, PÁLFFY Andrea, BENCSIK Krisztina, FEJES Imre, RAJDA Cecília, TUBOLY Gábor, LISZLI Péter

[Objective - To survey the role of pattern electroretinography (PERG) and pattern visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in the process of clinical evaluation of neuro-ophthalmological cases. The study is illustrated with the electrophysiological findings of 231 patients sent to our laboratory in 2005 because of the suspicion of damage in the optic pathway. Methods - The RETIport program of the ROLAND equipment (Wiesbaden - Germany) was used to record PERGs and VEPs. The recordings were done according to the recommendations of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision. Results - The combined application of PERG and VEP provided useful data on the retino-cortical conduction time and hence demyelinisation. The comparison of the N35/P50 and P50/N90 amplitudes of the PERG recordings greatly promoted the diagnostic procedure. Conclusions - The combined application of PERG and VEP methods is recommended in the assessment of optic nerve function of neuro-ophthalmological patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Complex regional pain syndrome]


[Complex regional pain syndrome is one of the frequently topics to be discussed during International Congresses. Three books have been published recently by the IASP Press (1994., 2001., 2005.) The aim of my publications is to draw the attention to this syndrome frequently unrecognized, and to summarize an interesting case report.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[The triple combination of levodopa, DDCI and entacapone (Stalevo) is used to treat motor complication in Parkinsonian patients with fluctuation. An observational investigation has been conducted in Hungary to study the effects of Stalevo on the “wearing off” phenomenon and on the quality of life in patients, who are to be treated with. The introduction of Stalevo to the treatment resulted in no changes in the number of patients taking selegiline, amantadine and dopamin agonists, while the number of patients taking anticholinergic drugs were slightly increased. This treatment significantly decreased the average Hoehn-Yahr stadium, as well as the non-motor symptoms, without any remarkable side effect. Stalevo also improved the quality of life, detected by the EQ-5D questionare and the visual analoge scale.]

Clinical Neuroscience


KOVÁCS Gábor Géza, KŐVÁRI Viktor, NAGY Zoltán

[Background - Dementia is an increasing problem of the society. The underlying cause of dementia may be difficult to diagnose during life. Only neuropathological examination gives definite diagnosis. Differences in the reported frequency may be related to factors such as the age or gender of subjects with dementia. Materials and methods - In our neuropathology-based study we examined 156 consecutive subjects clinically diagnosed with dementia during a 3-year period. Using histopathological criteria we calculated the frequencies of various disorders causing dementia. We studied the effect of age and gender on these frequencies. Results - Alzheimer’s disease was the most frequent pathologic finding (57.7%) followed by vascular dementia (43%); diffuse Lewy body disease (15.4%); argyrophilic grain dementia (12.1%), various forms of frontotemporal dementia (5.7%); and other (4.5%). The latter comprise prion disease, alcoholic encephalopathy, and hippocampal sclerosis. Mixed pathology was common: concomitant Alzheimer’s disease was present in 41.6% of diffuse Lewy body disease cases and in 49.2% of vascular dementia patients. Pure disease forms are rare: Alzheimer’s disease: 26.3%, vascular dementia: 17.3%, diffuse Lewy body disease: 5.1%, argyrophilic grain dementia: 2.5%. Females were overrepresented among those with Alzheimer’s disease with age at death above 75 years (p <0.02), while males were overrepresented in patients below 75 years with vascular dementia (p <0.05). Conclusions - Our study indicates that the frequency of neurodegenerative dementias is high in the examined patients, but vascular pathology frequently influences the clinical course.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]


[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Second game, 37th move and Fourth game 78th move]

VOKÓ Zoltán

[What has Go to do with making clinical decisions? One of the greatest intellectual challenges of bedside medicine is making decisions under uncertainty. Besides the psychological traps of traditionally intuitive and heuristic medical decision making, lack of information, scarce resources and characteristics of doctor-patient relationship contribute equally to this uncertainty. Formal, mathematical model based analysis of decisions used widely in developing clinical guidelines and in health technology assessment provides a good tool in theoretical terms to avoid pitfalls of intuitive decision making. Nevertheless it can be hardly used in individual situations and most physicians dislike it as well. This method, however, has its own limitations, especially while tailoring individual decisions, under inclusion of potential lack of input data used for calculations, or its large imprecision, and the low capability of the current mathematical models to represent the full complexity and variability of processes in complex systems. Nevertheless, clinical decision support systems can be helpful in the individual decision making of physicians if they are well integrated in the health information systems, and do not break down the physicians’ autonomy of making decisions. Classical decision support systems are knowledge based and rely on system of rules and problem specific algorithms. They are utilized widely from health administration to image processing. The current information revolution created the so-called artificial intelligence by machine learning methods, i.e. machines can learn indeed. This new generation of artificial intelligence is not based on particular system of rules but on neuronal networks teaching themselves by huge databases and general learning algorithms. This type of artificial intelligence outperforms humans already in certain fields like chess, Go, or aerial combat. Its development is full of challenges and threats, while it presents a technological breakthrough, which cannot be stopped and will transform our world. Its development and application has already started also in the healthcare. Health professionals must participate in this development to steer it into the right direction. Lee Sedol, 18-times Go world champion retired three years after his historical defeat from AlphaGo artificial intelligence, be­cause “Even if I become the No. 1, there is an entity that cannot be defeated”. It is our great luck that we do not need to compete or defeat it, we must ensure instead that it would be safe and trustworthy, and in collaboration with humans this entity would make healthcare more effective and efficient. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Atypical presentation of late-onset Sandhoff disease: a case report

SALAMON András , SZPISJAK László , ZÁDORI Dénes, LÉNÁRT István, MARÓTI Zoltán, KALMÁR Tibor , BRIERLEY M. H. Charlotte, DEEGAN B. Patrick , KLIVÉNYI Péter

Sandhoff disease is a rare type of hereditary (autosomal recessive) GM2-gangliosidosis, which is caused by mutation of the HEXB gene. Disruption of the β subunit of the hexosaminidase (Hex) enzyme affects the function of both the Hex-A and Hex-B isoforms. The severity and the age of onset of the disease (infantile or classic; juvenile; adult) depends on the residual activity of the enzyme. The late-onset form is characterized by diverse symptomatology, comprising motor neuron disease, ataxia, tremor, dystonia, psychiatric symptoms and neuropathy. A 36-year-old female patient has been presenting progressive, symmetrical lower limb weakness for 9 years. Detailed neurological examination revealed mild symmetrical weakness in the hip flexors without the involvement of other muscle groups. The patellar reflex was decreased on both sides. Laboratory tests showed no relevant alteration and routine electroencephalography and brain MRI were normal. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography revealed alterations corresponding to sensory neuropathy. Muscle biopsy demonstrated signs of mild neurogenic lesion. Her younger brother (32-year-old) was observed with similar symptoms. Detailed genetic study detected a known pathogenic missense mutation and a 15,088 base pair long known pathogenic deletion in the HEXB gene (NM_000521.4:c.1417G>A; NM_000521:c.-376-5836_669+1473del; double heterozygous state). Segregation analysis and hexosaminidase enzyme assay of the family further confirmed the diagnosis of late-onset Sandhoff disease. The purpose of this case report is to draw attention to the significance of late-onset Sandhoff disease amongst disorders presenting with proximal predominant symmetric lower limb muscle weakness in adulthood.

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: The mirror inside our brain

KRABÓTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Over the second half of the 19th century, numerous theories arose concerning mechanisms involved in understanding of action, imitative learning, language development and theory of mind. These explorations gained new momentum with the discovery of the so called “mirror neurons”. Rizzolatti’s work inspired large groups of scientists seeking explanation in a new and hitherto unexplored area of how we perceive and understand the actions and intentions of others, how we learn through imitation to help our own survival, and what mechanisms have helped us to develop a unique human trait, language. Numerous studies have addressed these questions over the years, gathering information about mirror neurons themselves, their subtypes, the different brain areas involved in the mirror neuron system, their role in the above mentioned mechanisms, and the varying consequences of their dysfunction in human life. In this short review, we summarize the most important theories and discoveries that argue for the existence of the mirror neuron system, and its essential function in normal human life or some pathological conditions.